The Masters Piano Story
Mike Masters, RPT
Many people ask if Masters is my real name. It is the name I was born with and have carried my entire life. It is a perfect name for what I do. I come from a long line of musicians on both sides of my family. My great-grandmother used to play piano for silent movies. My grandfather is a bluegrass guitar player. Both of my grandmothers have played either piano or organ for church. My mother gave me the inspiration to learn to play as I listened to her play the Theme from Exodus growing up. My father gave me love of Rock and Roll.
Masters is a very fitting name for my life and for my business. It associates mastery and perfection, and that I what I strive to bring to my life, and more importantly to your piano. This love and care for what I do adds much more to your own attempts of artistry and expression through your own creativity in making music.
I was born in 1972 at the Marine Base Hospital at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA. in my early years, we moved a few times as my dad was reassigned to different bases, between Oceanside, Yuma, and Memphis. When my father received his discharge in 1975 we settled back in my parents home area of Kansas City. When I was 4 we moved to a small town south of Kansas City, MO. This is where I really began my interest in the piano. We had an old ugly upright piano (as I like to call them) in the basement of our home. It was missing a few ivories, a few keys didn’t work properly, but it was good enough to spark an interest as I gained inspiration from listening to my mom play. I would spend hours playing that old piano, only by ear, figuring out the melodies of tv theme songs that my parents watched, the Theme from MASH, the Theme from Dallas.
When I was 10 years old my family moved to Phoenix, AZ and sadly the old piano did not come with us. Shortly after we settled and I had started school, I came home with a french horn to play in band. After playing the french horn for about a year, and learning to read music, I asked my parents if I could take piano lessons. We signed up with a neighborhood piano teacher, and a small Casio keyboard was purchased to help me get started. I progressed very quickly and it was time to find a piano. In 1984, my parents purchased a used 1974 Baldwin Howard console. I was so excited to finally have a real piano, and did I ever give it a workout. I beat the daylights of of that little console piano. I gained an early love of classical and romantic era music and would spend hours a day playing the piano. So much, that I drove it horribly out of tune from the amount of playing. The piano tuner would come, and it would be great again. After a month or so, I had driven enough notes far enough out of tune that it really bothered me. There was no money in our house to tune the piano every month, so for my 15th birthday, my parents bought me a basic tuning kit. I had a number of teachers in those early years of learning how to tune, and by the time I started college, I had a number of customers that I was already tuning for.
Being a piano performance major in college, I gained a lot of contacts in the music dept and was tuning for more and more customers every month. While I was in college, I also started a correspondence course with the Randy Potter School of Piano Technology. I purchased an old 1906 Steinway K upright piano shortly after I married my wife. It was mostly unplayable and exactly what I was looking for, thanks to my mom for finding that old piano which I still own today. (Pictured Above)
In 1995 my wife and I relocated to Cleveland to be near her family. This is when I started Masters Piano Service. I owe so much to Roy Hansen of Graves Piano for giving me a chance.
Today I still continue to improve my business and service and am always looking for ways to bring more artistry and expression to each of you. It is my love of the piano, and what I do, that brings me the greatest joy in my work. While the days can be long, I love what I do. Most days do not really feel like work for me, I am given the opportunity to stay close to my love of playing, but in doing so, I can work towards bringing the full potential out of every piano that I see. Thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to share this love of the piano with you.